We went to church today. It had been a while. It felt good to be back among my church family again. I looked around at the faces there – all of them dear and familiar to me – and realized that, of all the people sitting there, I was one of the people who had been attending this church the longest – almost 33 years. I began remembering, then, all the beautiful people I’d met in this edifice. A parade of precious faces from the past went by my inner vision. Gordo and Babs. Gordon and Jane. Another Jane and her three beautiful daughters. Sue. Laurie. Sabra and Dave. Darlene and Elliot, John and Linda and Becky and another Linda and a Zach. Mary and Serena and Jennifer and two Walts and a couple of Dons. Magnolia and Connie and Win and Bob. The Tall Family. Jack and Anne. Geraldine. Marcie. Shirley. Merrle! All of them had played a part in my spiritual journey – nurtured and cultivated the good in me, and shared their inspiration with me. I felt filled with gratitude for each and every one of them – fellow adventurers and explorers and pioneers.
That final scene from Places in the Heart came to my thoughts – that scene where the camera pans down the pews in the church as the characters in the story drink from a communal cup – passing it from person-to-person – and we realize that the characters who died during the movie are sitting there, too, sharing in the cup. And we realize that the people who had battled with each other during the movie are also sharing in the cup. We see forgiveness. We see fellowship. We see love.
We don’t, literally, pass around a cup or eat wafers in the Christian Science church. But we do commune with Love. We do share in the atonement, the at-one-ment, with Love. And there have sure been some wonderful church friends sharing in that atonement with me.
“Atonement is the exemplification of man’s unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy